No other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of wood. Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years. In fact, in a national survey of real estate agents, 90 percent said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors. That’s money in your pocket!
While the beauty and elegance of wood enhances a home’s charm, it is much more than an aesthetic choice. Wood floors provide real benefits over other floor coverings. First, wood is an excellent insulator. And contrary to popular belief, hardwood actually protects against fire as it chars and burns slowly, never melting or crumbling. Wood is also easy to work with and unlike other floor coverings can be stained, cut, shaped, and refinished, giving it durability spanning generations. . Ask your Madison Flooring and Design specialist about your many custom style options in wood flooring.
Ease of Maintenance
Maintenance of today’s wood floors is easy! New technology in stains and finishes call for regular cleaning that takes little more than sweeping and/or vacuuming, with occasional use of a professional wood floor cleaning product. You will want to use a cleaning product recommended by your flooring manufacturer, installer or ask your Madison Flooring and Design wood flooring professional. This will ensure that you use the proper cleaner for your type of flooring and finish.
Wood Floors are ecologically friendly. Since it is a natural resource, wood is both renewable and recyclable. Many of yesteryear’s old wood ships, warehouses, barns, and other structures often find a second life in wood flooring. And, because wood does not collect dust and other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home. Ask your Madison Flooring and Design specialist about your many new choices in sustainable Green Flooring.
Today’s wood floors are affordable. Over time, wood floors maintain their value. When other flooring options are looking tired and worn out, wood floors will still look beautiful and timeless.
Wood Floors have came a long way in the past few years. Today, there are more styles, colors and species of wood flooring available than ever before. Whether you’re looking for traditional, exotic, rustic or custom your Madison Flooring and Design specialist will help you choose a floor that fits your style and budget.
Top 5 things you should know when choosing a wood floor or hardwood flooring product:
1.Always set a budget, remembering, if the price sounds to good to be true, it’s most likely of lesser quality
2.Choose a wood floor according to the rooms use;
3.Choose a style/design to match and/or compliment the rooms decor;
4.Choose a wood floor product with proper finish that can handle the traffic for that specific area/room
5. Always use a professional wood floor contractor as there are many technical concerns that can adversely effect or compromise the product.
Solid, Engineered, Exotic and Parquet flooring make up the four different types of wood flooring. The type of wood selected for your flooring can also have an impact on the overall look of your room.
Entry / Foyer – Foyers tend to be more formal than not. Making a design statement in this area has most recently become a new wood flooring trend. Custom One-Of-A-Kind designs like Accents, Borders, Inlays, and Medallions are very popular. Always use outside walk-off mats and if there is no design, area carpets inside will help in keeping wear down.
Kitchens/Family rooms: These are most common spaces for wood floor installation in new construction and remolding. The ease of care, open floor plans, and the flow of traffic make this a very popular area for wood floors. Dark and white/bleached wood floors do NOT fare well in this area because of the high traffic, food & water continuously being on the floor. In some very grainy species, the direction of the wood floor can add to the wear of the product. NOTE: Kitchen wood floors should be screened (lightly sanded) and recoated as needed, say every 6-18 months, depending on the amount of traffic and cleaning habits. Make sure the finish used is recommended by the manufacturer and/or is a compatible with what you have. Good cleaning habits are very important part of maintaining a wood floor, high traffic or not. Clean regularly, and always wipe food & water spillage immediately.
Formal Living and Dining Rooms- Most often a more traditional formal setting, darker in color with the combination of oriental carpets. This area also often receives border inlays, with turning blocks or corner accents to add a Custom-One-of-A-Kind floor. Design considerations for this area often will be compatible with the furniture being used. Not matching the exact color but a darker or lighter color in the same family of the floor color, thus complimenting each other. Remember the darker the floor, the smaller the space will appear, and maintenance consideration will increase.
Bathrooms – A bathroom that receives daily use would not fare well with wood floors, due to continued moisture exposure. On the other hand a guest bathroom not used on a day to day basis could be considered. Make sure to use area carpets/mats, and always immediately wipe up any water.
Home offices, Bedrooms – Wood Floors work well in bedrooms, often with area carpets being used. Office settings lean toward the traditional darker colors, and bedroom are a 50/50 tossup on colors used. NOTE: Rolling furniture, chairs, TV stands etc., can damage the finish very quickly, if used day to day. Make sure the floor is protected and/or the rollers are not made of metal or other damaging materials. Regular maintenance is required.
Getting Specific – Details that should not be overlooked:
What type of wood do you want? It’s important, for example oak floors could mean ten (10) or so different products, of 3 different grades. Is Domestic or Exotic species desired? Some species can be used over radiant heat, many can not; some can handle humidity better than others.
Different species have different standards, some none at all. The higher the grade the “clearer” or more top of the line the product is.
The angle in relation the grain as the log goes through the saw, 3 cuts are standard, plain, quartered, or riftsawn: The harder cut (quartersawn has closer pours, thus making moisture less of an intruder.)
What is the thickness and width of the floor you have chosen ? What are the lengths? This could important if adjoining floor covering at doorways are not properly adjusted for. Some time the pattern of the product you have chosen may not be right for your installation. Always know or have specified the lengths, widths and thickness of the wood floor choice you made.
The most common is with strip or plank, the direction may depend on the subfloor joist (nail down), parquet may be in many patterns and/or designs from simple to intricate cuts and designs. Make sure this is spelled out in your contract , as to what direction the floor will be laid.
Always request a sample prefinished or unfinished (including final finish type). Every manufacturer has their specific trademark color.
7. Always ask questions, if in doubt, not sure, ASK ! It’s much better the know ahead what to expect, than after the fact and the floor is in place. The more specific information shared commonly among ALL participating parties, the less chance of misunderstandings and problems will occur.
Question to ask before making a decision
Is this a high traffic area?
The finish and color will be affected by this. Darker colors tend to show traffic quicker, where as natural wood colors of oak and maple do not. High traffic areas need special attention when it come to recoating. Screening (light sanding) should be a part of the preventative maintenance program for your wood floors in these areas. Application of 1 or 2 coats as needed (every 6-18 months) is a good sound way to protect your investment. Make sure the finish being applied is compatible with what is there and is of the shine that will work well in that area. Satin or low shine urethanes tend to show less traffic patterns than do the higher gloss finishes. Walk-off mats are strongly suggested for these areas, ie- working areas of a kitchens, entry ways, entries/doorways from the outside.
What type of wood do you like or will fit the area?
Some types are more traffic friendly than others; Is this species to “grainy” or busy looking ? Some species are harder than others. Maple is harder than oak; has less grain, yet maple can not be stained. Remember, the type of finish and number of coats can also determine how well your floor will fair in high traffic areas.
What color will work with the decor?
Some darker colors make rooms look smaller, show traffic patterns quicker. Lighter, or natural color ( oak & maple being the most popular ) of wood floor species can give an open, airy feeling, making the room appear larger. With today’s color trends this is of the most popular selections now being made by the consumer, in home and office alike. Your floor should complement the fabrics, furnishings and accessories already present in the space, as well as enhancing the unique personality of the room as a whole. The most popular color : red oak natural, maple natural running second, but with today’s eclectic decoration styles, anything goes.
Darker colors – Formal or traditional interiors, Lighter colors – country, casual and contemporary settings. There are many choices when selecting the right floor for the rooms in your home, as there are many species, colors and grain variations for you to consider.
Who is helping you make these choices?
Builders tend to stay with they same product that has worked for them before; decorators tend to use color as the number one reason for choosing a particular product, which may not be suited for the area. Whether a prefinished or job finished product, have a sample of the wood floor material to make comparisons with other products and materials, such as the fabrics, paint colors and furniture being used in the room.
Who will maintain these floors?
That person needs to know the product as does the purchaser, most of time that is the same person, but not always. After the floor is installed, and this material is provided to you, this is a good time to purchase a wood floor cleaning kit, right from the get go !
All these question, as well as many others, are very important parts of the process in choosing the right hardwood floor for you. Not knowing all the answers could cause you concerns down the road. Most importantly, as we go through the selection process getting an experienced, and knowledgeable contractor, Madison Flooring and Design, who knows wood floors is one of the best things you can do!
Softer wood types include Cherry, Mahogany and Pine.
Hard types include White Ash, Beech, Red Oak, Yellow Birch, Green Ash and Black Walnut.
Hardest variety of woods consist of Hickory, Pecan, Hard Maple, White Oak and many exotic flooring such as Santos Mahogany and Brazilian Cherry.
Below are listed the relative hardness for numerous wood species used in flooring. These ratings were done using the Janka Hardness Test. The higher the number the harder the wood. This should be used as a general guide when comparing various species of wood flooring. Ratings will vary from where and when a tree was obtained. The plank construction and finish play an extremely important role in the durability and ease of maintenance of any wood floor.